Help on New Player

I just started a campaign that is composed of players all new to the Open Legend system. We used to play D&D together, so they have the basics now of an RPG. The issue I am having is mostly with one player. He is very busy most of the time and did not have time to make a character by the time the first session was scheduled. Due to this fact, when the session was supposed to start we were browsing through pre-gens and archetypes while everyone else was kind of waiting around. After some difficulty he picked out the Battle Mage archetype and we recorded stats and attacks pretty quickly. I asked him what the Energy attack was going to be and he chose electricity that he could shoot out of his hands, like Force Lightning. I did not think of this and attempted to gather everyone up again to start the session. It started off well until they came to their first obstacle. They had to steal a ship from a docking bay (starfighter, it is a sci-fi campaign based off of Star Wars) and they were not doing very well. The sides of the building were made out of metal so the player decided he would have a go at electrifying the entire building via the walls. He rolled a 22 and I did not know how to react. Logically, the electricity should have come close to killing every living being within the docking bay. The docking bay was supposed to take up a session or two at least and I had spent a lot of time working on it, but I think I acted poorly. First, I had everyone make a CR 12 Agility check from the large amount of electricity that could jump from the wall to them (which is stupid). A player failed so I think I gave him 2 banes, I cannot remember which. I think I gave him Immobile and Deafened for a round or two. I know I should have reacted better to the situation, but I also need help on how to not let this player abuse this power. Additionally, he is unhappy with his character although he rarely has time to work on one and said he was fine with the stats when we looked at the Battle Mage. Sorry for all of the text and thank you for reading this.

Don’t be to hard on your self its a learning experience with a new system. Your going to make mistacks and so are players. First i wouldn’t assume he was trying to abuse the power maybe just trying to learn what he could or couldn’t do ( you know the player best if it is his MO to power game then he may have be). I would say a 22 isn’t high enough to electrify an entire building. It’s not unusual for a player in a new system to not like a character they built if they didn’t understand how rules and feat and such come together. I will usually let players make changes after the first few sessions to help build their idea PC. If he doesn’t like it because its no overpowered , I’d explain that in open legend the characters are built differently. And that GM’s can veto anything that is built just for power gaming. ( I mean we can in any game)

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Also another thought for targeting multiple people the rules state that with ranged multiple targeting you can only target up to 5 targets no more then 25 ft away. so sure you could electrify the building but his electricity could only travel far enough to hit 5 people if they were with 25 ft and he would have disadvantage 5 from trying to do it.

From the website.
“Ranged Multi-targeting
You may target up to five foes that fall within a 25’ square. When targeting more than one foe, you suffer disadvantage equal to the number of foes targeted, as with melee attacks.”

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Thank you for the response, but my question is involving the science. Technically, electricity can race along anything that conducts electricity. It would go through the entire building and I think all of my players would know that I would have a hard time explaining the rules and that a 22 is not enough. Thoughts?

  1. Who cares about Science, you are talking about someone that can shoot lightning out of their hands. You are playing a game, and working on having fun. Bringing in real world physics would make a lot of games boring, and you aren’t playing for that reason

  2. I doubt there is enough electrical force to do that to a whole building, it would be discharged over time and not reach that much.

  3. He would have to specify the area (for an area attack) to be able to make his power go through the building that much, which would have heavy disadvantage

  4. a 22 isn’t enough enough to kill most characters (well technically ANY characters, it would just make them unconscious), it would, AT MOST bring a 10 Guard, 10 HP character to 0, if anyone has at least 1 Guard and 2 more HP from stats, they would survive that.

  5. Not all metals conduct electricity as well, and a space port would have insulation and protection against that anyways

  6. I’ve been electrocuted, I’ve grabbed live wires on accident, I’ve had a stun gun put against me (ah the joys of stupid youth), I"m still alive and wasn’t even knocked unconscious.

  7. When lightning strikes a car, the lighting goes around the outside of the car

In actuality, lightning flows around the outside of a car, and the majority of the current flows from the car’s metal cage into the ground below. In essence, a car acts like a mobile Faraday cage.


You are over worrying about explaining things to your players. You are new, they are new, it’s all a new experience. Just mention, hey, last time I approached this the wrong way, but that’s ok, we’ll play it as if it happened, and going forward will make the change.

You are human, they are human, humans make mistakes all the time. Don’t fret or worry over it.

Realize also that an “attack” is not actually always a “hit” on a person, but is what that person has to do to avoid actually being knocked out or really hurt by the attack. So they have to strain and move out of the way, which tires them down and lowers their stamina.

HP does not equal health.


ok lets talk science a bit have you ever had a electric current touch a metal object. I have at work, the cable on out refrigerator touched the metal and when I touched the door I got a shock it was far from the full force of an 120 volt outlet as other things took part of the voltage. electricity will ground itself.

I now release @Great_Moustache pretty much said what i was going to say so I will leave it at what i already typed.

For the player, allow him to change things around until they are 2nd level. They don’t fully understand everything yet, and you might not yet, so allow changes that make sense for the character.

If they aren’t giving the time and energy to make the character, that’s on them, not you as well.


Hi there! I’m an electrical engineer with a physics degree so this is right up my alley to answer.

Electricity only does damage when it passes through something, rather than just by being there, and it’s also lazy because it always takes the path of least resistance. You can stand on a highly electrified floor and the worst that might happen to you is that your hair would stand on end. Lightning does damage because it passes through the body on the way to the ground, if the ground itself is electrified then nothing will happen until you touch something that isn’t electrified (or has a lower electrical potential).

Think of it like water. When you “electrify” something you lift the water higher, but unless it has somewhere lower to flow to (and a gap connecting it, ie. the person touching something not electrified) it’s still just going to sit there doing nothing until it seeps away into the ground.

Regardless of all that, this is a game that doesn’t take place in the real world. Your players’ characters almost certainly have ways around that if they can control electricity, but it would probably be very hard (and require a much higher roll than a 22). Don’t worry about the mistake, and don’t try and undo it; make something up about how the particular metal of the docking bay became very dangerous when electrified, and then be more reasonable in future.

I agree with @Great_Moustache here, if your player doesn’t have the time to work on it then there’s not a lot you can do. I’d definitely give them the opportunity to change it up between sessions, I always give my players 3 sessions to change their characters up if they want so they don’t get stuck playing somebody they don’t like. I’d recommend the HeroMuster character sheet as a real time-saver, it does calculations automatically and lets you filter boons, banes and feats to cut down on the overwhelming lists. Maybe that might help with your player’s lack of free time.


I do like to reward creativity and even if 22 is not so high there is the options for success with a twist and fail but the story continues. Even more so if they are in I tight spot.

It’s not always eacy in the moment and I have the advantage of hindsight.

Twists could be something like stunning or incapacitating the bad guys, but that have the issue of what happens to the ready of the party. Giving banes like fatigue or sickened to the player for some time without normal save is an option.

If you electrocute a large area the is so many things that can get broken so he might get away with a skipping combat but get into other problems with the dock.

Fail but the story continues could be something like the attack fails but it opens a door because of hot wire magic and star wars have some strange interaction on how doors work.

On like the more mathematical side it should probably be an area attack with lots of disadvantage and you could reduce it a bit for environmental advantage.

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Use this as an opportunity to engage the player. Ask him what he doesn’t like and what he would like to do instead. He doesn’t have to build it. Assuming he is okay with that, you or one of the other players who likes doing that sort of thing can help him out. It may also be that he’s overwhelmed by the options and just assumes it will take too much time. I second the suggestion to try Hero Muster. I find its filters incredibly helpful.


Thanks to everyone who replied. After I posted my reply, I thought that I was probably wrong about the science anyway because it occurred to me that I do not actually know that much about electricity. Probably should have done my homework. Thanks again for helping out.